Milestone: Hiring – Hires New Team Member
Member: Emily of Emily Rose Ink
Accomplished: April 10th, 2017
We want to celebrate the achievements of our mastermind members. The story below is Emily’s experience achieving a major milestone within her business.
Because this is my first official employee, I took this process really seriously. I did a lot of research about employees, independent contractors, etc. to determine how to structure the position for tax purposes, and I consulted with a number of other business owners who have employees to get their input and feedback on what worked for them and what they would have done differently looking back.
I ended up deciding to advertise the position on theeverygirl.com because a business friend told me they had great success with that blog’s jobs feature (It has since been removed during their website re-launch, but I’ve been told that the category will be added again). I couldn’t think of a better place to advertise now that I look back on it; it attracts people who are interested in creative jobs, and it’s based in Chicago, so the local readership is high. It’s also a really nice medium-sized blog, so I didn’t get an overwhelming number of job applications I had to sift through.
I also spent a lot of time crafting a very specific job description and application. I had a consultation with Ashley from SproutHR, who assured me that having this was extremely important, and I asked my mastermind group and my business coach to look over it for feedback. One thing my mastermind members pointed out was how important it was to emphasize what’s “in it” for the applicant. So I added a blurb to the description about what the employee would enjoy/gain in this position. I also asked applicants to take a Meyers’ Briggs Personality Test so I could get a sense for how our personalities would complement each other (I’m an INFP, so I did not want to hire another INFP because I was looking for someone with skills that were different from mine).
When it came time to sift through and organize applications, I was extremely judicious.
I did not respond at all to applicants who sent sloppy or generic cover letters; it was important to me that the applicant had clearly looked at my website and that they had a strong understanding of my business, my mission, why they would be a good fit for the position, and why they wanted to work for me.
I tossed all cover letters that simply summarized their resume. The person I ended up hiring had my favorite cover letter.
I set up phone interviews with 4 people, all of whom I liked and wanted to meet in person. I set up a date for them to meet me for an in-person interview over coffee and in my studio space. I did a lot of research to find good questions to ask for this specific role (executive assistant/project manager), and I printed out ratings sheets and questions so I could take notes during the interviews. I also asked some questions that would reveal more about their personality – “How would your friends describe you?” – “What really bothers you?” – because I am a one-woman business and we are working in tight quarters, it was really important to me that our personalities were a good match.
After the interview, I sent out a post-interview questionnaire that asked the applicants to explain how they imagined what their role would look like – i.e. what their top 3 goals for the first three months would be, and how they would break down these goals into action steps. This was one of the best things I did because it immediately disqualified two applicants whose responses were brief and not very thorough or thoughtful. It also gave me a really nice starting point once I hired Anna because she had already listed out some of the responsibilities and tasks that she thought would be most helpful.
In the end, I made my decision based on flexibility and intuition – I simply got along with one candidate better than the other, and I knew that since we’d be working together a lot and spending a lot of one-on-one time together, this was important. A month in, I am confident I made the right decision! Things are working out great.
What did you learn during the process?
Expanding a one-woman business into a team venture is a huge step! I was really nervous, but I’m so glad I did it. Already I feel much more organized and able to take on more business. I learned a lot about how to conduct an interview, and on the flip side, what employers are looking for in candidates. I’m glad I was so thoughtful about the process and that I took it so seriously because it paid off.
What advice would you give to someone else trying to accomplish the same Milestone?
The job description is crucial. Make sure you are VERY specific about how you envision the role, what their responsibilities will be, and what skills you are looking for.The job description is crucial. Make sure you are VERY specific - @emilyroseink Click To Tweet
How did you choose to celebrate your Milestone once you achieved it?
Sleep! I’m getting more of it these days, thanks to Anna 🙂
Congratulations Emily on your new team member!! We are thrilled for you!
WHAT MILESTONE WILL YOU ACHIEVE?Join business women who understand your struggles and will push you forward to achieve your goals!